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The Chinese New Year in San Francisco

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on December 4, 2015

With the largest Chinese neighborhood in the United States, it’s no wonder that there is no better place to be (except for maybe, China) than San Francisco to celebrate the Chinese New Year. We already blogged about several holiday activities you don’t want to miss this year in San Fran, but the beauty of the Chinese New Year is that it brightens up those pesky months after the Holiday season where the chilly weather lingers and everything gets kind of gray and mushy. The month-long celebration sprinkles events from the end of January to late February, to keep you in good spirits through the dreary after-Holiday months. Here are the list of events for the Chinese New Year in 2016 – the year of the Monkey.

The Grand Parade

The main draw of the celebration that attracts more than 3 million viewers per year, The Grand Parade takes place on Saturday, February 20th from 5:15-8pm. There are more than 100 parade entries that include participants marching down the street with flags, lanterns, drums and several floats. The largest and most popular is the 28 foot Golden Dragon, that requires a team of more than 100 people to operate and walk through the streets of San Francisco. The 2016 Chinese New Year Parade will begin at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets. It then weaves its way through Chinatown and ends at Jackson and Kearny Streets.

Community Fair

The Chinatown Community Street Fair runs along Grant Avenue from California to Broadway, and on Sacramento, Washington, Jackson, and Pacific between Stockton and Kearny on the same weekend as the Parade. The fair includes traditional dancing, drumming, and acrobats. You’ll discover Chinese calligraphy, fortune telling, and lion dancing while browsing the street vendors offering tasty treats and unique gifts. The fair starts on Saturday, February 20th from 10am to 4:30pm and on Sunday, February 21st from 9am to 5pm.

Flower Market Fair

The Flower Market Fair is held on the weekend before Chinese New Year Day where guests can purchase fresh flowers, plants, fruits, candies and other supplies for the home to begin the new lunar year. Delight in performances of traditional Chinese magicians, acrobats, folk dancers and opera as you take in the beautiful fragrances of the fresh flowers and produce. The market opens on Saturday, January 30th from 10am to 8pm and Sunday, January 31st from 9am to 6pm.

Miss Chinatown USA

Each lunar New Year, women from throughout the United States come to San Francisco to compete for prizes and scholarships in the annual Miss Chinatown USA Pageant. In addition to winning money and prizes, the winners become good will ambassadors for the Chinese community. The pageant takes place at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, (3301 Lyon Street in the Marina) and is held on Saturday, February 13th from 7-10pm. Tickets range from $35-$65.

Miss Chinatown Coronation Ball

The crowning of the new Miss Chinatown and her court is on Friday, February 19th. This black tie dinner/dance begins at 6pm, with coronation at 8pm, and dancing from 8:30pm until midnight. The event takes place at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square at 333 O’Farrell Street and admission is $150 per person.

Basketball Jamboree

The Chinese New Year Basketball Jamboree will kick off the Year of the Monkey with six exciting basketball games at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in Chinatown on Mason and Washington Streets. The first games begin at 10am on Saturday, February 13th and the last game starts at 3pm that afternoon. There are 3 slots for each division (boys and girls), resulting in approximately 60 players participating. The players represent the greater Chinatown-North Beach community and San Francisco Middle Schools.

Chinatown YMCA Run

The Chinatown YMCA will host their 37th annual “Chinese New Year Run” on Sunday, February 14th at 8am (Registration at 7am). Participants can choose to run a 10k, a 5k, or do a 5k walk. The scenic route starts at Sacramento and Grant, winds its way through Chinatown, North Beach, the Embarcadero, Downtown and finishes on Kearny between California and Sacramento. The proceeds from the run benefit the Chinatown YMCA Community Center, which serves more than 1,200 youth and their families from Chinatown and the surrounding neighborhoods. To register, volunteer, or donate, visit

Call Us Today!

Chinatown is notorious for having little to no parking – especially during this busy time in the neighborhood. Let NLS Limo handle all your transportation needs during this exciting month-long celebration. Whether you want to arrive at the Miss Chinatown Coronation Ball in one of stylish limousines, or gather a group of friends in one of our luxurious SUV’s for bar hopping during parade weekend, we’ve got you covered. To speak with a reservation specialist, contact us today at 800-339-85936.

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